Insulin shortage threatens the livelihood of millions

Jess Barton, Staff Writer

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Currently, about 400 million people are living with type 2 diabetes: a disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, certain people with type 2 diabetes have to supplement their own insulin levels with prescribed insulin. As scientists predict the number of type 2 diabetics to reach 500 million by 2050, insulin availability and affordability has never been more crucial.  In 2030, it is believed that approximately 80 million diabetics will require insulin (increasing the demand by 2o%) while one in two people today do not have access to the insulin they need.

When it was created, insulin joined the group of “wonder drugs” of the twentieth century. However, private multinational corporations have combined to control 99% of the insulin market. Insulin might not have tariffs in most countries, but it is taxed, marked up, and victim to supply-chain costs. Even adults who have insurance experience price hikes like when the price of one vial increased from $40 to $120 a vial. Another reason for high prices could be inflation as the drug is complex, making it harder to copy and recreate. Lack of access to the insulin that some 33 million people need could result in long-term consequences such as problems with the nerves, kidneys, eyes, and feet.

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